Spotlight: Seattle Whirligig!

For the next month, the circus-themed Whirligig event offers a dry escape on rainy Seattle days. The Center is now full of 10 bounce houses – a few gentle ones for children under age 3, many enormous houses for older kids.

Face painters turn regular children into princesses and Spider-Men, cartoonists create pics of mom-and-kid duos and live entertainment lights up the Center House’s stage.

Seattle Center Whirligig with kids
Human gumballs?

Here are a few tips we gleaned from the staff:

  1. Stash cash. Tickets or passes can only be bought with cash. There is an ATM machine available, but it might be best to bring cash with you.
  2. Buy passes ($7.50). The tickets just go too quickly – each trip through a bounce house requires a ticket, and a trip only takes about a minute or two.
  3. Bring a bag to put your kids’ shoes in. Shoes aren’t allowed on the bounce houses, and mom has to schlep them around. Parents sit outside of the bounce houses, so pack a book for yourself in that bag.
  4. Tote water and snacks. Kids get sweaty and thirsty in a hurry. The Seattle Center food court is yucky and expensive, with the exception of Starbucks (the kids’ snack pack saved our day). Wish we’d brought our own.
  5. Go early, when the Whirligig first opens, or go late, when it’s about to close. We went at 4:30 p.m., and it was perfect for the next hour and a half, until we were bounced out of the place.
Whirligig at Seattle Center

That night, they slept. Hard. A+ for Whirligig.

Find more travel fun at DeliciousBaby’s weekly Photo Friday.

Seattle Family Vacation

Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.